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Drink Driving and the Penalties

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 23 Mar 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Drink Driving Drunk Penalties Breath

The UK Drink Drive Prescribed Limits Are:

  • 35mg per 100ml breath
  • 80mg of alcohol in 100ml blood
  • 107mg of alcohol in 100ml urine

If you have been stopped by the police given a Breath, Blood or Urine Test (or a combination of all three), and found to be over the above limit, you will be charged and given a date to attend Court.

There are several drink driving offences that you may be charged with, each with varying penalties.

Failing to Provide a Roadside Breath Test (DR70)

You may be charged with this offence if:You did not provide a breath specimen when you were requested to and did not give a sufficient reason as to why not.The penalties for this offence are: a fine of up to £1,000, 4 penalty points and disqualification at the discretion of the court.

Driving/Attempting to Drive with Excess Alcohol (DR10)

You may be charged with this offence if: You were found to be over the legal limit while either driving a motor vehicle or even just attempting to drive it (many people do not realise that this is an offence in itself). The penalties for this offence are: a fine of up to £5,000 and/or up to 5 months in prison. Mandatory disqualification for at least 12 months if it is a first offence or for at least 3 years, if it’s the second offence within 10 years.

Being in Charge of a Motor Vehicle with Excess Alcohol (DR40)

You may be charged with this offence if: You were found Drunk in Possession of the keys to a motor vehicle. Even if you are just intending to sleep in the car and you put the engine on to warm the heater you are technically drunk in charge of a vehicle. The reasoning is that a police officer cannot determine your intentions and a potential drunk driver is hardly likely to tell the police that they were intending to drive home! The upshot is that if a police officer finds you drunk and in possession of your car keys, then theoretically you could find yourself arrested. Usually, discretion is employed by the police officers in question if, for example, you are nowhere near your car - but you must be very, very careful about getting into a car when you are drunk, even if it is just to keep warm while you wait for a taxi to take you home. The penalties for this offence are: a fine of up to £2,500 and/or up to 3 months in prison.10 penalty points on your license and disqualification at the discretion of the court.

After Driving/Attempting to Drive Refusing to Provide Samples for Analysis (DR30)

You may be charged with this offence if: You refused to give a breath/urine/blood test as requested after being stopped by an officer and/or taken to the police station.The penalties for this offence are: up to £5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment. Mandatory disqualification for at least 12 months if first offence, or at least 3 years for a second offence within 10 years.

After Being in Charge Refusing to Provide Samples for Analysis (DR60)

You refused to give a breath/urine/blood test as requested after being stopped by an officer and/or taken to the police station.The penalties for this offence are: up to £2,500 and/or 3 months in prison. 10 penalty points on your license. Disqualification is at the discretion of the court.If you are given a disqualification, this means that you are not allowed to drive a motor vehicle for the length of the disqualification period. However if you have been given a disqualification that lasts for longer than 2 years, you do have the right to apply to the court that imposed the ban on you to have the remaining period of disqualification period removed.

You must appear at the court in person and you must satisfy those sitting that:

  • You haven’t committed any further road traffic offences during the 2 years that you have been banned, and
  • There is a good reason that your license should be returned to you. This can be for various reasons:
  • Promotion at work that involves more travel
  • The opportunity of a new job that involves travel
  • Moving to a rural location and need a car.
In some cases, proving that you have had successful alcohol abuse treatment can also be relevant and lead to a lifting of further disqualification.

It's also worth remembering that your behaviour can be an influencing factor on discretionary decisions made by the court so it is in your interests to co-operate at all times!

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
nearly done my 9 month driving ban joining army but would like to do a trade in army but been told it stays on record for ten years so won't be able to do driving jobs how could I get this overturned or how can I get. Round this
cj - 23-Mar-15 @ 2:11 PM
Can a police office insist you accompany them to the station (without arrest) if they have pulled you over but do not have a working breathe analyzer?
Me - 11-Jun-12 @ 2:52 PM
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